Eph. 5: 3-7
We continue our lesson in this beautiful Epistle. As I have told you before, the first 3 chapter is
doctrinal while the following chapters are about Christian living. To be followers of God we must walk
or live the way the Lord wants us to, so today we will talk about living a pure life as it is written in the
Bible. Below are the lists of sins that we should avoid at all cost. Of course, all sins should be avoided.
The sins written here were on top of the list not only because they disobey God’s command but
because they are socially devastating. These sins break the bonds of marriage, destroy the structure
and strength of the family, and cause children to be born without parents responsible for their
I. Fornication –
A. The incontinence or lewdness of unmarried persons, male or female; also, the
criminal conversation of a married man with an unmarried woman; adultery; incest;
a forsaking of the true God and worshiping of idols (Webster).
B. The Bible uses this term as a general description for immorality (Mt. 5:32; 15:19; 19:9;
Acts 15:20,29; 21:15; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:18; 7:2; 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph.
5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Rev. 9:21).
C. Like adultery, fornication is also used in a spiritual sense to describe turning from God
to serve false gods (Ezek. 16:29-34; Rev. 2:21; 14:8; 17:2,4; 18:3; 19:2).
D. The Greek word translated fornication is porneia, from which the English word
“pornographic” is derived.
E. Moral absolutes exist, and their basis is in the Word of God.
F. God the Father wants that sexual activity be conducted only between husband and
wife. The Bible takes a strong and uncompromising stand against non-marital sex and
condemns any other sexual practice.
G. I would put three major verses here against sexual immorality namely:
1. Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
2. Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but
whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
3. Proverbs 6:32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh
understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
Illustration: Moral Laxity And Wife Swapping
A Temple University sociologist conducted a survey of 2,300 wives and found that 50 percent felt that
they would eventually go outside their marriage for sexual experiences, and one out of every three
said they already had. Wife-swapping has become common in some areas.
Hotel and motel managers report an ever-increasing number of unmarried couples register as such.
They say that they cannot afford to turn away thousands of unmarried people, so they accept them
without question. They say, “We aren’t moralists.”
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
II. Covetousness –
A. To desire inordinately; to desire that which it is unlawful to obtain or possess;
excessively eager to obtain and possess (Webster); to be dissatisfied with one’s lot; to
be greedy. Covetousness is to desire that which is not my own or that which is
forbidden (Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21; Josh. 7:21).
B. Covetousness is to love and pursue money and personal wealth instead of being
content with the basic needs of life and to pursue righteousness and the will of (1 Tim.
C. Covetousness is to make possessions the focus of one’s life (Lk. 12:15). Covetousness
is to live for self pleasure instead of living for God’s pleasure (Lk. 12:16-21).
D. Covetousness is to enrich oneself at the expense of others; it is to oppress and use
others for one’s own selfish ends (Pr. 28:16; Mic. 5:2).
E. Covetousness is the opposite of opening one’s heart and purse strings to others (Pr.
F. The opposite of covetousness is contentment (Heb. 13:5-6).
G. Covet also means to desire in a positive sense (1 Cor. 14:39). Some key verses on
covetousness: Ex. 20:17; Ps. 10:3; 119:36; Pr. 21:25-26; Ezek. 33:31; Mic. 2:2; Mk.
7:20-23; Lk. 12:15; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Ti. m 6:6-11; Heb. 13:5-6.
Illustration: Word Camouflage
In 2 Kings 18:4 When Hezekiah found the children of Israel worshiping the brazen serpent made by
Moses in the wilderness, he destroyed it. Hezekiah called the serpent “Nehushtan.” Which means “a
serpent made of brass.”
We wonder how such an idol could have existed for so long. It would seem that it would have been
destroyed in one of the reformation movements of one of the judges or kings. In my opinion, it lasted
so long because it apparently was not recognized as an idol. Perhaps the children of Israel justified the
worship by not calling it an idol. Hezekiah, however, came and called it what it really was—a brass
image of a snake.
How often we justify sin by either ignoring it or calling it a different name! Some call adultery “a
meaningful relationship or just an affair” We excuse covetousness by calling it “prudence” or
“economy.” A life of sensual pleasure is “living with gusto.”
In answer to a critic, Abraham Lincoln asked, “How many legs does a cow have?” “Four,” was the reply.
“If you call her tail a leg, how many does she have?” “Five,” was the answer. “No,” Lincoln said, “just
calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.”
Have we made a similar mistake? Do we think that sin is not sin just because we do not call it by the
right name? A Treasury of Bible Illustrations.
III. Filthiness –
A. That which defiles; dirtiness; foulness; corruption; pollution; impurity (2Chr. 29:5;
Ezr. 6:21; 9:11; Pr. 30:12; Isa. 28:8; Ezek. 22:15; 24:13; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 5:4; Jas.
1:21; Rev. 17:4). In Eph. 5:4 this term is particularly connected with that which is
immoral and sexually impure. Elsewhere it is a general description of anything that is
morally and spiritually unclean.
IV. Foolish Talking –
A. This term in refers to speech which is immoral, unclean, unwholesome, or in any
way improper for the Christian. It is listed in the context of “filthiness” and “jesting.”
It is defined as that which is “not convenient.” In the next verse the Apostle
mentions whoremongers, unclean persons, and idolaters. “Foolish talking” is a
reference to the type of suggestive, unwholesome conversation that the world
delights in. The Christian is warned, “… because of these things cometh the wrath of
God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them”
V. Whoremonger –
A. An immoral person; one who practices lewdness; one who cohabits with whores
(Eph. 5:5; 1Tim. 1:10; Heb. 13:4; Rev. 21:8; 22:15). That “whoremonger” is a
general description for a lewd person is seen in the fact that the Greek word
(pornos) is translated “fornicator” in 1 Cor. 5:9-10,11; 6:9; Heb. 12:16.
VI. Unclean Person
A. The word “unclean” is used in several places in the New Testament, usually in
connection with ceremonial uncleanness. In Acts 10:14, where Peter states that he
has “never touched anything unclean”, he refers to food that is ceremonially
unclean under Jewish law.
B. In the Christian life, an unclean person is one who refuses to walk in the Spirit or to
be occupied with Christ, a person who refuses to confess sin and acknowledge God’s
sovereignty in his life.
C. Verse 7 makes it plain that Christians must choose not to partake of the sins of the
unbelievers. Clean living is not an automatic feature of the Christian life. We must
make a daily choice to walk with the Lord, to stay in the Word, to confess sin, and to
avoid what the world offers.
The Word of God commands us to live a pure life and to avoid all kinds of sin. It would
be a never-ending struggle as long as we live. We can only obtain victory by the power of
the Holy Spirit. Will you obey the Lord’s command? The choice is always yours